Meet Our Team

As well as a long standing reputation for integrity we offer professional expertise, high end skills and a passion for our subject.

With more than 30 years of experience between us every customer is in good hands.

Philip Brown fixing Violins in Newbury

Philip Brown

Proprietor and Bow Maker

A member of BVMA (British Violin Makers Association) and VSA (Violin Society of America) Philip has over 30 years experience in the industry.  He is responsible for instrument sales, valuations and repair advice. Philip also makes and repairs instruments and is our in house, expert bow re-hairer.

Philip has grown his business into a highly regarded workshop and retail outlet serving customers from all around the world including Japan, US, Europe and China. The success of a number of Philip Brown Violins former employees now running their own workshops in New York, Victoria, Canada, France and London is testament to Philip’s professional outlook and offers him an excellent global network of colleagues in return. An upgrade to a conveniently located Georgian premises in 2019 accurately reflects the high standard of workmanship and customer support offered. 

Philip’s early career in musical instrument making from the young age of 14 was inspired by instrument maker Alan Lamb and the musician-collector Peter Davies. The latter’s passion and knowledge of stringed instruments nudged Philip towards a four year course in Lute and Viol making at the London College for Furniture. 

Fortunately for Philip, the workshop’s inspirational teaching team included; Roger Rose, Steve Barber, Ian Harwood and Norman Myall augmented by the sharp insights of lutenist Christopher Wilson. Chris worked tirelessly with the students often staying behind for hours to develop designs and historical ideas. 

A steep learning curve with many late nights and a lot of hard work led to Philip emerging as the only student of the year to be awarded a distinction by master luthier Dietrich Kessler. Fellow students including Martin Haycock, Tom Neitzert, Gary Bridgewood, Charles Riché, Craig Ryder and Claire Ryder have all been inspired to achieve ambitious goals in this field. 

Philip initially set up business in Wapping making lutes. He shared a riverside workshop with Martin Haycock before returning to his home town of Newbury where he began taking orders for violin restorations and repairs. The demand for his expertise in the area soon grew organically to become his core business for many years. 

Inspired by his tutor Roger Rose, Philip first became interested in bow making whilst at college in the late 1980’s. His experience of handling fine old bows like Dodds, Tourte, Mauchand and Tubbs adds value to his making process. Philip’s bows are now used by leading players and in many music institutions around the world.   

He was delighted to be approached to work on the Anglo-French re–creation of the ‘24 Violins Of The Sun King’. Having made all the bows for the orchestra Philip can be called a bow maker of the French court. Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ETxgA3hG6M 

Philip’s professional development continues with master classes in bow making at Oberlin College, Ohio and at West Dean College in the UK. He continues to host the industry’s leading bowmakers in his workshop to share best practice at the highest level. 

Philip writes Expert articles in the international Magazine “The Strad” and the  British Violin Makers Association newsletter. English violin and bow makers have become Philip’s special area of interest.

Philip’s speaking engagements include expert lectures at Lutherie (British Violin Makers Association) conference and several invitations to speak to groups of special interest. 

Amongst his customers are:  

Leonid Gorokhov, professor of Cello at Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hannover, Germany is also the  teacher of BBC Young Musician of the Year winner Laura Van Der Heijden, London Baroque, Jonathan Manson, Philip Handy, Marlborough college, Eton College, Wells College, Orchestra of Enlightenment, … to name a few. 

Throughout his career Philip sold many Italian instruments such as:  

Testore £150.000 (several) 

Cappa $900.000 

Landolfi £165.000 

Recaldini £160.000 

Gagliano £150.000 

Meet the team at Philip Brown

Kathrin Hügel

Violin Maker & Restorer

BVMA Member, Kathrin graduated from Germany’s highly reputable School of Violin Making in Mittenwald in 2012. Before joining Philip Brown Violins she worked in France for three years and since starting with the company has benefitted from work experience in various workshops in Germany, New York and Canada. Kathrin’s continuous professional development is maintained by attending regular courses at West Dean College.

As well as an excellent level of customer care, Kathrin is responsible for our cello, violin and viola repairs & restorations. She is also supported in working on her own violins.

Mandy

Mandy Page

Administrator

Mandy is our experienced administrator, responsible for all the day to day operations of the business and offers an excellent level of customer care.

Meet the team administration

Dana Brown

Strategic Planning

Dana works with Philip to consistently review our strategic vision. She provides HR support and is responsible for managing the cashflow of the business.

Please get in Touch

If you want to find out more about the Violins we have in store, or any of our other services and workshop get in touch with the team on 01635 35465 or alternatively fill out our contact form.